An Adamsville High School basketball player was injured in a riotous brawl on the court Tuesday night as a tight game with Scotts Hill High School came to a close.
It may be days before an official investigation is concluded, but the injured player’s aunt said 15-year-old Devin Leatherwood is now out of the hospital after suffering a head injury.
“He’s doing pretty good; they released him last night after doing a bunch of tests,” Amber Brooks said Wednesday morning. “He just woke up a little while ago, and seems to be OK, other than he’s pretty bruised up on his face, and he’s really upset that any of this happened. Our whole family has been an emotional wreck.”
Adamsville High School Principal Steve Killingsworth said the school administrations of Adamsville and Scotts Hill are “working together with local law enforcement and the TSSAA to investigate the incident. Appropriate action will be taken once the investigation is complete.”
Daniel Vandiver, assistant chief of the Adamsville Police Department, said a McNairy County deputy sheriff was at the game, and city officers were called in shortly after 9 p.m. as fighting broke out.
“Video footage is being gathered and the review process will take some time to sort through. We are actively investigating the circumstances that led up to the fight, as well as pursuing charges against those involved. This is still an active investigation so we will not be releasing any names until the preliminary investigation is completed,” he said.
Vandiver asked that any spectators who have video footage of the brawl send it as a private message to the APD Facebook page.
Just before the altercation erupted, Adamsville trailed by three points before Leatherwood hit a three-pointer to tie the game with around 15 seconds remaining in the contest. As Scotts Hill brought the ball up the court to go for the last shot, Adamsville applied defensive pressure all over the court.
The Cards were able to knock the ball loose and appeared to have a steal and an open court to a possible game-winning layup.
A couple of Scotts Hill defenders closed in and knocked the ball away with a Cardinal being sandwiched and falling to the court in what some observers saw as a foul. No foul was called and a Lion player was able to grab the loose ball and go down for an open lay-up just before the buzzer sounded to give Scotts Hill a 70-68 win. Shortly thereafter the melee ensued.
Several at the game commented that what started as some trash talking quickly escalated into the brawl.
“It was a very good game – I think they were beating us by two or three points, it was really close; and tensions were really high. The kids were getting attitudes and getting a little mouthy with each other, and people were getting on the referees for blown calls, and some people were really angry, you know how it gets. Then right at the buzzer, it just erupted,” Brooks said. “It was an incredibly scary night, but right now we’re happy that everything is OK.”